Monday 2 February 2015

BYOB Evening With A California Twist

6 of us gathered at Ulf´s place for a evening with brought bottles. It turned out to be a great evening and interesting enough, almost all bottles came from the USA. Thanks all!
All wines tasted blind, except for the ones I brought.

NV Cumières Premier Cru Brut, Georg Laval
Peter brought this bubbly. The nose is fine and elegant with notes of lemon peel, pickled ginger, gravel, smoke and oriental spices. Very, very good.
The taste is tight and finely tuned with notes of lemon cream, gravel, white flowers and a touch of almond paste. A very fine acidity with a steely touch. As good as the Brut Nature tasted a year ago.
90p   (tasted 2015/01)

2012 Bentrock Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay, Sandhi
This had me firmly positioned in the hallowed land of Burgundy when we were guessing its origin. A very refined, chalky nose with notes of cold butter, white peaches, butter biscuits and blood oranges. A very cool, laid back character. Really fine.
The taste is young, tight and focused with notes of lime and lemon peel, white flowers, fudge and sand. A long, balanced finish. Very, very good and perfect with the king crab with a truffle sauce!
92p   (tasted 2015/01)

1976 Vosne-Romanée Les Malconsort, Domaine Clos Frantin
This was my first offering and sadly it didn´t perform. I have had this before and then it has been a great, mature Burgundy. But as the saying goes, there are no great wines, just great bottles.
The nose is muffled and foursquare with notes of dirty root vegetables, dog fur and old red apples.
The taste is angular and old with notes of dried red currants, undergrowth and old leather. Fairly long. Worked with the food but to dry on its own. Too bad.
76p   (tasted 2015/01)

2003 Paradise Hills Vineyard Merlot, Blankiet Estate
And now over for something completely different - A big, big, brawny nose with overripe black fruits and notes of red beet juice, bakelite, burning plastic and oak. With ait it calms down a bit but there is an overripe, over-the-top feeling about it.
The taste is massive and intense with notes of wood smoke, black fruits, bakelite and rubber tyres. The finish is very long, rich an fiery. Surely a well made wine but for me it is too much. Merlot? Ok, why not, it is impossible to find any grape attributes.
83p   (tasted 2015/01)

2009 Vin Perdu, Amuse Bouche
The cepage of this stunner is mixed - Merlot, Syrah, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon & Cabernet Franc - but it works really well! The nose is big and bold with gorgeous notes of ripe black currants, blueberries, dark fudge, graphite and warm tiles. A very creamy fruit with a fine depth and delineation.
The taste is compact and broad with lovely black fruit in the shape of currants and cherries with additional notes of sweet tobacco, sugared coffee and warm tiles. A long, balanced finish with a finr warmth. Great stuff!
93p   (tasted 2015/01)

2008 Carrie´s Pinot Noir, Melville
Magnus brought this fine Pinot Noir from Melville, from whom I just the other week had tasted some 08´s. This was far better. The nose is typical Pinot with its scents of ripe raspberries, Christmas spices, forest floor and liquorice. Very, very good.
The taste is fine and elegant with notes of sweet raspberries, wild strawberries, fresh herbs and forest floor. A very nice mouth feel. Drinking fine now.
90p   (tasted 2015/01)

2005 Nebbiolo Bricco Buon Natale, Jim, Isabelle & Know Clendenen
I didn´t see this coming. I was dead certain that this was a Nebbiolo from the foggy hills of Piedmonte. But no. It is from California... When I was convinced that it wasn´t a case of mislabelling (a common error in the wine business...) I could sense that this is a very good Nebbiolo,, although from the "wrong" side of the world. The nose is fine with a beginning maturity and notes of lingonberries, mushrooms, earth, red peppers and some rose petals. Very good.
The taste is cool and dry with notes of ripe lingonberries, gravel, dried mushrooms and leather. A medium long finish with a nice warmth. This is good.
88p   (tasted 2015/01)

2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Paul Hobbs
A big, inky nose with notes of ripe blackberries, bakelite, dark chocolate and some oak vanilla. There is a scent of red beet juice, something a associate with trying-too-much-winemaking (except in the cases of mature Burgundy of course). Very warm.
The taste is very big and fiery with notes of overripe black fruits, espresso, pipe tobacco and undergrowth. A bit unbalanced. A long, creamy, warm finish. Not my cup of tea.
85p   (tasted 2015/01)

1964 Tegolato,
This was my second offer and unfortunately, this was no good either (that´s the risk you take when you bring old bottles...:-)). It had quite a bottle stink when I opened it, It blew of some but it still smells of a worn gymnastic shoe with some dry red fruit tossed in. Not that appetizing.
The taste is better with notes of old tobacco, dried red fruits, autumn leaves and old, worn leather. Quite long. Better on the palate.
78p   (tasted 2015/01)

2007 James Berry Vineyards Syrah, Copain
This beauty has a big, intense nose with notes of ripe blueberries, bonfire smoke, sweet tobacco, black pepper and meat stock. A creamy character to the fruit. Very, very good.
The taste is big and broad shouldered with lots of sweet blueberries and black cherries with additional notes of peppered meat, bonfire, warm gravel and some fine leather. A long, warm, complex finish. This is good!
92p   (tasted 2015/01)

2005 Barolo Bricco Pernice, Elvio Cogno
Johan brought this Barolo which has a fine nose of red currants, dry liquorice, asphalt and undergrowth. Some maturtity. It is nice but is a bit withdrawn in character.
The taste is tight and dry with lots of dry tannins and a cool red currant and lingonberry fruit. A bit seedy. With food it is fine but the tannins makes it a bit hard on its own.
86p   (tasted 2015/01)

1999 Die Krans Cape Vintage Port
Ulf fools us with a Port styled wine from South Africa as the closing wine. The nose is big, sweet and concentrated with notes of Cherry liquor, assorted nuts, green raisins and chocolate. Sweet and good.
The taste is big, sweet and fiery with notes of nut chocolate, figs in brandy, cherry liquorice and raisins. The finish is long and warm, a bit much so. Will need more time to mature and soften.
87p   (tasted 2015/01)


  1. Ah, thanks Joakim! That Californian trip is just getting closer and closer... Nicely summarized! :-)

    1. And thanks to you for bringing it together - it was fun! 👍🍷

  2. Joakim;
    Did ever taste Champagne Baron Albert ?

    If so what do you think about ?

    1. Hi,
      no, never even heard about that producer. Good?

  3. Never had it .....